Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Currently in Flagstaff AZ (Low 42 Partly Cloudy High 61) 

It has been a long time since we last blogged. The constant heat in the valley of the sun was oppressing. There were some evenings we were watching the weather at 9:30 p.m. and it was 105 degrees at that time. For the third time we were able to escape the heat, this time we went to back to Flagstaff. 

We were surprised to see the trees already changing colors. In the valley even though the calendar says fall the temperatures say summer.

It is nice that at night we have had to run the heat and the fireplace sure has made the evenings watching television and the cold mornings cozy.

We will be able to blog on some of our activities here later, sure is nice to be able to head out when we want instead of having to worry about it being too hot.

We close with one more for our weather bug followers, a cold air tornado was spotted near Goodyear where we stay and we took this photo from the weather broadcast. A cold air tornado is usually short-lived and generally much weaker than the vortices produced by a warm air tornadoes and rarely make ground contact. We had never heard of the previously mentioned gustnado and now a cold air tornado before our stay in the valley of the sun.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low aa Conditions High bb)

On September 10, 2009 we slept the first night in our Carriage Cameo at Peculiar Park Place RV Park in Peculiar MO and started our full-timing adventure. On this, our 6th anniversary we thought we would give a little review of those 6 years.

On the first anniversary after traveling to Texas and then to Arizona we were back at Peculiar Park Place RV Park. On our second anniversary we were at Broken Arrow Campground in Custer SD. On the third we were at Adventureland Campground in Des Moines IA. On the 4th we were at an Extended Stay Hotel in Overland Park KS while our Cameo was getting remodeled with a new refrigerator, dishwasher and flooring. On the 5th we were getting snowed on at the Buffalo KOA in Buffalo WY.

We left Buffalo WY and headed to Denver for Bob's beryllium testing. Our friends Bob and Wilma were able to visit Denver the same time we were there. It was great to see them and spend some time with them. After they left we had a bad storm and had some hail damage. We left Denver and stopped in Colorado Springs, Eagle Nest NM, Albuquerque, Gallup NM, Winslow AZ and spent a couple of weeks in Congress AZ before getting to Goodyear.

Since the almost 1 foot of snow in Buffalo WY we haven't seen much cool temperatures. Or at least it feels that way as we have been in Goodyear Arizona since mid-November. The summers here are something to avoid, it's a fry heat. While in Goodyear we got a new home in February, a Lifestyle LS38RS.

Here are some of our favorite photographs over the last year.

With all the ups and downs we cannot think of a better way to visit the country. If things happen you have to be somewhere and most of the time it has been at our choosing.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 88 Sunny High 109) 

For our Destiny RV Park friends, here is some of the damage from the monsoon earlier this week.

We now know more about Arizona weather than we ever planned to.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 28, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 87 Sunny High 109) 

There have been other monsoon storms in the Phoenix area but we had our first major monsoon in our area yesterday, 60 mph dust storm and rain, made for an interesting afternoon.

There were 5 microbursts in the metro area in this storm. There also was a gustnado in the west valley where we are. 

A gustnado is a weak, short lived tornado like vortex. The window facing the rain leaked so we have to get that fixed. There were lightning strikes that caught palm trees on fire across the valley. Here is one in Ahwatukee. 

Finally, we are so glad to have our generator because the power went out a little after 4p. 

We had air conditioning and TV until the power came back on about 1030p, 5 and 1/2 hours that we used our generator. We are luckier than some that are still without power Friday morning.

Never a dull moment in this lifestyle.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 10, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 86 Slight Chance of Storms High 106) 

Subtitled: It never makes that noise when you take it into the shop!

We drove back from Flagstaff yesterday, back to the furnace they call the valley of the sun. This will be a short entry as we are way behind in reading other blogs and all things electronic since we had some computer problems while in Flagstaff. The keyboard on our laptop started acting up and we took it to Best Buy today in Goodyear to get it fixed. Bob checked it yesterday and it was still having problems but it worked fine when the tech looked at it today, go figure. There still is an issue with the 'Capslock' light but everything else appears to work.

It never makes that noise when you take it into the shop!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 7, 2015


Currently in Flagstaff AZ (Low 51 Storms Around High 75) 

We love the weather in Flagstaff that has allowed us to do something in the middle of the day instead of running from air conditioned space to air conditioned space. We toured Riordan Mansion State Park. Riordan Mansion is the story of the Riordan brothers who were involved in lumber, railroad, banking, cattle, and politics. To make the story even more interesting the two brothers who built this house, Timothy and Michael, married the Metz sisters.

The style of the house is arts and crafts. The architect was Charles Whittlesey whose name is no doubt recognized to those familiar with the hotels built by the railroads out west. Charles Whittlesey was the architect for the El Tovar Hotel at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Some of the similarities between the structures include massive stone arches at porch corners and rustic exterior consisting of log planks (for this home it was pine native to the area), wood shingles, and native stone (for this home it was volcanic rock). 

The two sisters wanted to be close to each other so the brothers had almost identical 6000 sq. ft. homes built with a 1000 sq. ft. common room between them. The architect called the room the rendezvous room while the brothers called it the cabin. Here is the mansion from the parking lot.

The visitor center is the original 6 car garage. The 13000 sq. ft. were built in less than one year finishing in 1905. Photos aren't allowed on the first house we toured, the east side residence of Timothy Riordan and his family. Bob got this picture before he was told. 

This is the unique ice box configuration just inside the entry of the house at the servants entrance. Ice was brought in and placed in the top area. The deliveries of groceries was placed in the second compartment accessible from the kitchen inside.

Here are photos from the other side of the house, Michael Riordan and his family, where photos are allowed, don't worry Bob didn't get into trouble :-)

Religious art was throughout the house, more on that later.

Although almost identical structurally the homes were decorated differently. The best example of that is the stained glass. On the Timothy side the stained glass windows were tulips, here is a photo from the outside since you couldn't take pictures in that side of the house.

On Michael's side the stained glass was Arizona Poppy.

Here is the outside of the house showing the rugged exterior and arches.

The flowers outside were beautiful.

An incredible family story and a family home. The Riordan's were proud Irish Catholics and contributed to the building of the 'Church of the Nativity' which we will blog about later.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 3, 2015


Currently in Flagstaff AZ (Low 50 Afternoon Thunderstorms High 80) 

Jo doesn't have her followup at the pain center until mid-August so we decided to escape the heat one more time. We drove yesterday to Flagstaff. At about 7000' the temperatures are much cooler. It will be nice that the daytime high is lower than the overnight lows where we came from. Here is the route we took:

The cooler temperatures, although some rain, for the week.

Compared to the weather in the valley.

We are both feeling some effects from the higher altitude so we are taking it easier today. It sure is nice to have the windows open, the cats really like that. For the rest of the week if it rains we go to movies, when cool we plan to do some sightseeing. We did have our first taste of the monsoons, ironically just after we blogged that we had been spared so far, funny how that works. We got dumped on pretty good Friday afternoon causing some flooding and wind damage although other parts of the valley got hit harder. Apache Junction, where Jim and Sandy from Where Are The Dixon's Today fame, may have gotten hit by a microburst. The news was showing damage in Apache Junction and it was the mobile home park next to them. They blogged on the storm and have pictures of damage in their park. We are glad that they are OK. Here is the picture of that monsoon from the network broadcast.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, July 31, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 83 Slight Chance of Thunderstorms High 105) 

The best thing about summers in the valley of the sun is when you get to a parking lot and can find a nice shady spot. Here is Bob getting ready to open the door for Jo.

The 2nd best thing is ice cream, specifically the 31st special at Baskin-Robbins. July 31st is 31% off of sundaes.

The locals keep telling us that the worst is behind us with June being the hottest month and it slowly cools off we thought comparing the comfort here versus back in the Kansas City area (or other cities with hot temperatures and high humidity like Houston or Orlando). The sun may feel like it is burning and you could catch on fire but at least you can breathe with the lower humidity.

So far three months into it and we have to say we are fairly lucky. May was actually very pleasant compared to what we were expecting (5 days in the 70s and 15 days in the 80s). June - although very hot with a few 115s we spent 10 days in the White Mountains where it was in the low 90s. Now July has been the coolest July since the 1990s. We also have missed most of the monsoon activity of blowing dust and rain. We have had a little dust and some rain but the majority of it has gone around us. 

Although it is still much hotter than we ever planned on while we were fulltiming it could have been a lot worse. It truly is a fry heat instead of a dry heat but if you stay indoors with air conditioning or can park in the shade it maybe isn't as bad as we thought it was going to be.

We are heading up to Flagstaff on Sunday for our second attempt at escaping the heat. We will be there for a week.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 80 Mostly Sunny High 106) 

We recently saw 'Ant Man', the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Although there is a lot of action there also is more comedy than other MCU movies which we liked. The plot of the movie involves shrinking technology, developed by Hank Pym (the original Ant Man) played by Michael Douglas, and keeping it safe from evildoers. The opening scene in 1989 involving a younger Hank Pym and his resignation from SHIELD that has Peggy Carter and the father of Tony Stark (Iron Man) was neat.

Flash-forward to present day and Hank Pym's protege has duplicated his shrinking technology so there is a need for a new Ant Man. Enter Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. Evangeline Lilly plays Hope Kym, Hank's estranged daughter.

Like we said lots of action and neat tie-ins to the other MCU movies. There is a scene with an Avenger and Ant Man will be in future movies. The requisite Stan Lee cameo was pretty cool too. As with all MCU movies there are extra bonus material in the credits. This time about 2 minutes into the credits is extra Ant Man material and there is more at the end of the credits.

Although not our favorite MCU movie it was still a good one and sure beat the heat being in a cool movie theater.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 80 Sunny 104)

"Jo's done, and she's hungry", those were the words spoken by the nurse yesterday when she came for Bob. Jo just had a nerve ablation, or RFA, on the left side of her neck. Radiofrequency (RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals.

Since the procedure involved deadening and pain medications Jo could not eat for 6 hours before the procedure. Breakfast was now a long time in the past so she was ready to eat. We got takeout from Texas Roadhouse on the way home.

As the deadening wore off Jo was more uncomfortable as the evening progressed with pain in that area and a headache. She is looking forward to being able to take NSAIDS again. She was pretty good today as we went out to eat and to see a movie.

We don't care what they say about radio frequency, this is what they used on the nerve :-)

Here is Jo in more comfortable times in Yosemite.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo